WATCH: Las Cafeteras Dreams of Liberation in ‘If I Was President’

By Sameer Rao Apr 27, 2017

Chicanx genre-bending band Las Cafeteras invites listeners to visualize an equitable future of their own creation in the video for "If I Was President," which premiered yesterday (April 26) via Democracy Now!

The song from the group’s 2017 album, "Tastes Like L.A.," jumps between Spanish singing and English rapping as members Denise Carlos, Hector Flores, Leah Gallegos and Daniel French each reflect on the oppression they would change if they became president. Here are a few of the lyrics, with translations added to the Spanish-language passages:

  • Señor Presidente, le vengo avisar 
    no tengo papeles para trabajar
    Señor Presidente, pregunto por que
    matan al Moreno con piel de café
    [Mr. President, I came to warn you, I don’t have papers to work, Mr. President I ask why/ you all kill Black man with Brown skin] 
  • Me gusta la lima, me gusta limón 
    Pero no me gusta tanta corrupción 
    [I like lemon, I like lime, but I don’t like so much corruption]
  • We’d free my poor Black and Brown kids 
    That got caught up in three strikes 
    And when they get out, they getting free bikes 
    So they can ride to their future, not their past
  • First thing, I’d sit you down with your abuelita
    Rewrite history so our kids can see 
    Where we came from and their new destiny 
    From Flint to Cali water flowing pure and free 

The music video features band members performing in high school halls and East Los Angeles streets as Brown and Black students skateboard, play instruments, make chalk art and create their own band around them. 

Watch the "If I Was President" video above.